Upon warmly meeting Sarah Nasri, her personable and empathetic nature is immediately palpable.
One might think that this energy is what affords her the ability to transcend different cultures and borders around the world with acting in international projects but, ever-so-casually, she informs us that she speaks multiple languages.
“I’m fluent in more than half a dozen languages including Arabic, Spanish, and French,” she adds with a laugh, “as well as obviously English.”
It’s a combination of this internationalism that clearly imbues within Sarah an inherent understanding of the human experience, a point which lies at the center of any successful actor’s career. It should come as no surprise then that Sarah’s career, in the midst of a global pandemic when people are grappling for stories now more than ever, has continued to thrive.
Originally from Tunisia, Sarah found a love for acting when she was 17 years old during summer break. After watching Leonardo DiCaprio give an interview and describe his creative process, Sarah was inspired to explore acting and a more artistic career path.
“Even though I had already been doing it a few years, I discovered a deeper love for acting after leaving the confines of school, one that I was able to refine and cultivate even more with the freedom to explore different topics away from the syllabus.”
“For instance, one of the most vital areas in contemporary aesthetics concerns the experience of so-called “negative” emotions in an engagement with fiction…our imagination is powerful, and acting gives me an opportunity to tap into that.”
Sarah’s childlike curiosity has remained a constant despite the growth she has experienced in her career. Such a quality will undoubtedly serve her well ever since standout performances have attracted the attention of notable Hollywood producers.
One of those performances, for instance, was in the horror film Childhood Chills. Her gripping portrayal as a nun struggling to survive after her best friend has been attacked by an unseen evil, alongside Ashton Solecki and Curt Darling (Devil’s Hallow), is an obvious standout and distinguishes a crucial moment in the arc of the film. In each moment, Sarah echoes the audiences’ obvious terror while maintaining a commitment to her character in each and every extreme close-up frame in which she appears on-screen.
When watching her, Sarah’s particular understanding of how to balance temperament and feeling with advancing the story – never crossing the line of self-indulgence – is readily apparent. It’s a mark of a great actor.
“Every form of art including acting has to have an arc, it should go up and down just like life. Otherwise, it will seem flat and uninteresting to the viewer,” Sara explains. “I always look for the high, the low and the ‘fake high’ in every script.”
Sarah also explains how she incorporates a variety of approaches to a script, depending on the storyline.
“I [also] look for the music that I feel supports the atmosphere of the project and create a playlist from that – I find that really helps stimulate ideas about my story and creativity in general. ”
It’s this structured but also malleable attitude to approaching her craft which has not only served Sarah with an understanding of how to work across countries, but also genres too.
Any director who’s worked with her praises her understanding of finding the humour in darkness, and the darkness in humour.
Such is the case with her work in ‘Losing Your Marbles’, in which Sarah appears alongside The Art of Acting star Derick Gonzales. In that project, Sarah portrays a childlike introvert named Jenna, who struggles to overcome the recent death of her mother and is afraid to confront life on her own. In a moment that is incredibly affecting but also challenging and hilarious to watch, Sarah’s character discover’s Forest’s (Derick Gonzalez) love for her and the confusion she faced, whether to welcome him in her new life or not.”
“What I like about comedy is that it allows you to criticize and deliver a message in an unapologetic manner. Drama, on the other hand, sheds a light on the dark realities of life.”
Comments such as these point to the universal relevance of Sarah’s mission as an artist, and her burgeoning curiosity in the American market – the American market’s curiosity in her.
“I’ve been fortunate to have been offered contracts to work in America, so I’m excited to contribute to the industry and connect with fresh stories, especially in the aftermath of COVID-19.”
As the entertainment industry looks to recover past a year marked by struggle, fresh stories – and exciting talent – are indeed in demand.